Ben Hill Takes Back To Back Tour of Southland Stage Wins

Australian rider Ben Hill, riding for McCallums Group, proved he is one to watch for the second day running after sitting with a break group all day and climbing the Bluff Hill finish to take out his second consecutive stage win on the SBS Bank Tour of Southland today. Stage 2 of the SBS Bank Tour of Southland saw the riders race from Invercargill, through Central Southland, before heading back south to finish atop the much feared Bluff Hill. Cool conditions greeted the peloton as they departed from the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome. The breakaway of the day began early in the stage and by 10km raced the group of 10, including yesterday?s stage winner Australian Ben Hill (McCallums Group), began working to open up their advantage. Jacob Grieve (Pure South) and Matthew Envois (H&J Smiths Outdoor World) would fight out most of the sprint points throughout the stage. Grieve would claim the Harcourts Sprint Ace jersey. The breakaway reached a maximum time gap of 4 minutes 23 seconds before the peloton began to work to reel them back. Work from Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel and Barry Stewart Builders at the front of the peloton saw the gap closing as the break headed South towards Bluff. The advantage had fallen to less than a minute when the leaders hit the Bluff Hill Climb. Van Der Ploeg was first to attack and was joined by Hill, Aitcheson and Holmes. A reduced peloton of around 25 chased them as the rode headed upwards. Hill and Van Der Ploeg pulled clear of the two remaining breakaway companions on the long straight towards the final corner, before Hill kicked again from the final corner to take a remarkable second stage win of this year?s SBS Bank Tour. Hill now wears the yellow SBS Bank Tour Leaders jersey. Zenovich?s efforts were rewarded with The Southland Times Most Combative jersey. He will now be looking forward to the Riverton to Te Anau Stage three tomorrow after winning this leg of the Tour last year. Hayden McCormick (Breads of Europe – All About Plumbing) finished 5th on the stage and holds on to his Henderson Construction U23 jersey, while Thomas Stewart (Team Cromwell) remains in the Jesco Hydraulic KOM jersey and Justin Stott (Placemakers) retains the Stonewood Homes O40 jersey. The Wensleys Cycles Team Classification sits with the Avanti Racing Team. 2014 Tour of Southland: Stage 2 Results Images copyright?James Jubb Envious Photography

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